Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Periphery

a record of mundane things that have stuck in my mind, and what they may mean.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sidetracked

Yesterday, I was looking at Iraq war casualties, which are steadily climbing. And then I visited a political blog/discussion board. What shocked me was that everyone was the whole day's discussion around Kerry's record from thirty five years ago. They were all busy defending it. And of course the other side is busy casting doubt on it. Those details are perfectly irrelevant. And it's amazing that people allow the media and the politicians to set the national conversation. There's a war on now. Is it the right time to discuss/defend the participation of one person from a war thirty five years ago?

Related guidance from the Quran, The Cave, Ch. 18 (Surah Kahaf):

1. Praise be to Allah, Who hath sent to His Servant the Book, and hath allowed therein no Crookedness:
2. (He hath made it) Straight (and Clear) in order that He may warn (the godless) of a terrible Punishment from Him, and that He may give Glad Tidings to the Believers who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a goodly Reward,
3. Wherein they shall remain for ever:
4. Further, that He may warn those (also) who say, "(Allah) hath begotten a son":
5. No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is a grievous thing that issues from their mouths as a saying what they say is nothing but falsehood!
6. Thou wouldst only, perchance, fret thyself to death, following after them, in grief, if they believe not in this Message.
7. That which is on earth we have made but as a glittering show for the earth, in order that We may test them - as to which of them are best in conduct.
8. Verily what is on earth we shall make but as dust and dry soil (without growth or herbage).
9. Or dost thou reflect that the Companions of the Cave and of the Inscription were wonders among Our Sign?
10. Behold, the youths betook themselves to the Cave: they said, "Our Lord! bestow on us Mercy from Thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!"
11. Then We draw (a veil) over their ears, for a number of years, in the Cave, (so that they heard not):
12. Then We roused them, in order to test which of the two parties was best at calculating the term of years they had tarried!
13. We relate to thee their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance:
14. We gave strength to their hearts: Behold, they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him: if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity!
15. "These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him: why do they not bring forward an authority clear (and convincing) for what they do? Who doth more wrong than such as invent a falsehood against Allah.
16. "When ye turn away from them and the things they worship other than Allah, betake yourselves to the Cave: Your Lord will shower His mercies on you and disposes of your affair towards comfort and ease."
17. Thou wouldst have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the open space in the midst of the Cave. Such are among the Signs of Allah. He whom Allah, guides is rightly guided; but he whom Allah leaves to stray,- for him wilt thou find no protector to lead him to the Right Way.
18. Thou wouldst have deemed them awake, whilst they were asleep, and We turned them on their right and on their left sides: their dog stretching forth his two fore-legs on the threshold: if thou hadst come up on to them, thou wouldst have certainly turned back from them in flight, and wouldst certainly have been filled with terror of them.
19. Such (being their state), we raised them up (from sleep), that they might question each other. Said one of them, "How long have ye stayed (here)?" They said, "We have stayed (perhaps) a day, or part of a day." (At length) they (all) said, "(Allah) (alone) knows best how long ye have stayed here.... Now send ye then one of you with this money of yours to the town: let him find out which is the best food (to be had) and bring some to you, that (ye may) satisfy your hunger therewith: And let him behave with care and courtesy, and let him not inform any one about you.
20. "For if they should come upon you, they would stone you or force you to return to their cult, and in that case ye would never attain prosperity."
21. Thus did We make their case known to the people, that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. Behold, they dispute among themselves as to their affair. (Some) said, "Construct a building over them": Their Lord knows best about them: those who prevailed over their affair said, "Let us surely build a place of worship over them."
22. (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: "My Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case)." Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers.
23. Nor say of anything, "I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow"-
24. Without adding, "So please Allah." and call thy Lord to mind when thou forgettest, and say, "I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road."
25. So they stayed in their Cave three hundred years, and (some) add nine (more)
26. Say: "(Allah) knows best how long they stayed: with Him is (the knowledge of) the secrets of the heavens and the earth: how clearly He sees, how finely He hears (everything)! They have no protector other than Him; nor does He share His Command with any person whatsoever.
27. And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.
28. And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; no obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.
29. Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!
30. As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily We shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed.

Excuse the Old English. More on this later.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home